Gordon Banks: Tributes pour in after England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper passes away aged 81 
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Gordon Banks: Tributes pour in after England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper passes away aged 81 

LEGENDARY England goalkeeper Gordon Banks has passed away from cancer at the age of 81, his former club Stoke have confirmed.

Banks won the Three Lions' only ever World Cup in 1966 on home soil and famously pulled off a physics-defying save from a header by Brazil legend Pelé four years later in Mexico.

The Sheffield native had been undergoing spells of chemotherapy for several months and was visited by a number of former teammates in recent weeks as his health took a turn for the worst.

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He passed away peacefully overnight with his loved-ones at his bedside, his family said.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight," they said in a statement released via Stoke City.

"We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him."

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Banks is survived by his wife Ursula and their three children, Julia, Robert and Wendy.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in his position of all time, Banks was named FIFA goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England.

He made 628 club appearances during a 15-year career in the Football League, playing for Chesterfield, Leicester City and Stoke.

A League Cup winner with both the Foxes (1964) and the Potters (1972), Banks was won FWA Footballer of the Year in 1972, while also being named in FIFA's World Cup All-Star Team in 1966 after playing a key role in England's iconic 4-2 triumph at Wembley in the final against West Germany.